Why It Is Important To Optimize Grain Aeration Systems


There is no denying that the Grain aeration controller and system may appear complicated, yet it serves an essential role in keeping grains fresh and safe.


In today's article, we will look at the importance of optimizing these systems.


Understanding why and how this process works is critical for anyone involved in grain storage and agriculture.


These fantastic systems keep stored grains in good condition, preventing spoiling and preserving quality.


In this blog post, we will provide helpful information for anyone wishing to enhance grain storage efficiency.


So, let us begin and learn about its critical function in crop preservation!

Fundamental Targets

The key goals we need to focus on are pretty simple:

1. Getting the Right Airflow Rates:

Airflow rates, which determine how much air passes through grain storage, are critical.


They are measured in liters of air per second per tonne of grain (L/s/t).


Extremely unfavorable things can happen if we do not have enough airflow.


Mold may grow on the grain, and insects may decide to take up camp.


Measuring the airflow from a fan is simple if you utilize the GRDC Grain Storage Fact Sheet "Performance testing aeration systems."


There are two types of airflow we're aiming for:


     Cooling Airflow: This is like giving the grain fresh air. We want about 2-4 liters per second for each ton of grain.


     Drying Airflow: This is when we need to reduce moisture in the grain. We're looking at 15-25 liters per second for each ton of grain.

2. Keeping Temperatures Safe:

It's vital to monitor how warm or cold the grain is.


This ensures that the seeds we save for planting will grow.


It also aids in the prevention of mold and pest infestations.


We utilize a specific equipment called a grain temperature probe to accomplish this.


When examining stored grain for bugs, check the temperature once a month.


     In the Summer: We aim for temperatures between 18-23°C.


     In the Winter: It should be less than 15°C.


These are the basic things we keep in mind to keep our grains safe and in good shape.

Essential Things to Think About

Now that we understand the airflow rate and temperature targets, there are a few additional factors to consider when looking at an aeration system and how we want to use it:

Grain Variety

The type of grain you store can affect how the airflow works.


Larger grains, such as chickpeas and mung beans, contain more open spaces, allowing air to travel more freely.


When it comes to smaller grains, like canola, it's like attempting to blow through a bit of straw - it's difficult, and the air goes slower.


What does this have to do with you?


If you're working with large grains, you can use more airflow.


However, with tiny grains, the air cannot move as freely, putting extra strain on the fans.


As a result, airflow through the grain is hindered.

How High You Stack

Consider stacking your grains in a large container, such as a silo.


The height at which they are stacked significantly impacts how the system for airflow functions.


Filling a tall silo to the top, say 10 meters high, will require much more airflow. Why?


Because when it's filled, it pushes back harder on the fans.


But it's easier if you only fill it halfway, creating a 5 meter-deep bed of grains.


Since the fans are less strained, you don't require as much airflow.

How Wet the Grain Is

When utilizing aeration equipment, consider how wet or dry your grain is. Here's everything you need to know:


If you're keeping wet grain, it can heat up. That is not fine.


To avoid this, ensure the air is uniformly distributed throughout the grain.


You'll also have to operate the fan for extended periods each day.


However, if your grain isn't too wet, such as when it's around 12.5% moisture, it's easier to handle.


Considering there is less possibility of the grain heating up on its own, you will not have to use the fan as long.

Tools for Better Aeration

To achieve the ideal airflow and grain temperature, four pieces of equipment are required.


These include aeration fans, ducting, silo vents, and an automatic grain aeration controller


Consider them tools that will assist you in properly doing the work.


Let's discuss each of these:

Selecting the Right Fans

When it comes to grain storage fans, making the right choice is critical.


Consider it like selecting the proper tools for the work.


The size and number of fans you require must correspond to the size of your storage as well as the performance of the fans.


To correct it, consult the people who make the silos or grain specialists.


Adding extra fans is a wonderful idea, but having too many might make it difficult for each fan to force air through.


Therefore, obtaining professional help is critical to ensure you have the correct number and type of fans.


This way, you conserve energy while also improving the performance of your system.

Using Ducts Wisely

Ducts, or air pipes, come in various styles, but what counts mainly is how lengthy they are and where they are installed.


To get it correctly, make your ducts as long as possible and equally spaced from the silo's wall to the tip of the cone.


Keep them roughly 300 mm away from the wall to prevent air from escaping.


Also, don't let them obstruct the silo's unloading.


Overall, long and well-placed ducts improve aeration performance.

Silo Vents for Air Release

Vents are essential for ensuring that your fans perform optimally.


They increase the pressure in the silo so that the air does not become trapped and push on the silo's top.


A basic rule of thumb is that you need 0.9 square meters of vent area for every 500 liters per second of airflow.


Check the airflow with all vents open to see whether you have adequate.


Then, attempt to open both vents, the roof manhole, and the silo top fill hole.


If the airflow rises during the second test, more ventilation is required.


Opening the top fill hole or utilizing a tin hat with mesh sides generally suffices for smaller storages below 100 tonnes.

The Smart Grain Aeration Controller in Aeration Systems

The automated grain aeration controller is a critical component of every aeration system.


This piece of technology functions as the operation's brain.


It assists in selecting the ideal air to keep your grain cool and in good condition for the long haul:


Now, there are different types of these controllers. Here are the basics:


Set-point: You manually select the temperature and humidity settings for when the fan should run.


Automatic: There are a couple of types here:


  - Time Proportioning Controller (TPC): Based on your settings, it employs a clever algorithm to determine the optimal times to run the fan.


  - Adaptive Discounting Controller (ADC): This one is even more smart. To manage the fans, it considers factors such as grain condition, stack size, and others.


The TPC controller is commonly used. It has a capacity of up to 24 silos and cools things down in three phases:


Continuous: Runs the fans constantly, except when it is raining or humid.


Purge or Rapid: For the following seven days, the fans will run for approximately 12 hours each night.


Protect or Maintenance: This mode maintains your grain's temperature over time by adapting to local conditions.


Unquestionably, this efficient controller ensures your grain is kept in the finest possible condition.


So, these are the factors and things you need to know to understand the importance of optimizing the grain aeration system.


With this information and more research, you can easily make the right decisions that will benefit you in the long run.

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